Weaning Breastfed Baby

Weaning Breastfed Baby

For millions of mothers, one of the joys is breastfeeding but when it comes time to start weaning a breastfed baby, some mothers find this a difficult task.  For starters, the mother needs to be dedicated to the weaning process, which can be emotional but unless she is ready and willing to go through with it, the process would be more difficult for the baby.  Once the decision has been made to stop breastfeeding, the next step involves knowing the steps to take so the process is not stressful.

Keep in mind that some mothers will begin the process of weaning a breastfed baby simply because they no longer want to nurse.  This might be due to the baby’s age, the requirement to return to work, etc.  However, sometimes weaning is essential because of medication the mother has to start taking, required surgery, or that the production of milk is no longer adequate for the child.  No matter the reason, weaning a breastfed baby does not have to be a dramatic change.

The first step is to start the process of weaning a breastfed baby at the most opportune time, which is typically between ages of nine months to three years.  With this, the baby would be better prepared for this change, which overall would make weaning easier.  Once the time is right, remember that while weaning a breastfed baby is much the same for every child, each baby will respond slightly different.  Therefore, if you have a friend or relative with one experience, you should not expect your experience would be the same.

For starters, the process of weaning a breastfed baby should occur when you are not stressed.  This change can be emotional for you and your baby so if you are feeling stressed, the process would be hard.  The key is to start reducing the time and frequency of feedings slowly, supplementing with bottles of formula, milk, or juice for younger babies and solid baby food for a child one year or older.

You will also need to provide more hugs and cuddle time in that when weaning a breastfed baby, the closeness of mother and child can diminish.  In addition to being provided with milk to survive, most babies love breastfeeding because of the closeness of the mother’s body so when you start this process, it would be important to continue offering the close connection between you and your baby.

The key to being successful with weaning a breastfed baby is to take things slowly.  The worst thing you could do with this transition is to rush things.  A drastic change such as this would only cause undue stress for the baby but also you.  Therefore, go through the process slowly, expecting it to take several months to complete.  Then, by allowing time for the special physical bond to continue will keep the child calm while allowing the process to work.

We suggest you stop a feeding during the time when your baby is least interested.  You could also distract your child, perhaps reading a book during the time when a feeding would occur.  Be sure that only one feeding is replaced at a time when weaning a breastfed baby and before another nursing time is replaced, you should wait several days or even weeks depending on the response of the child.  By taking your time and being aware of how well your child is doing will certainly make weaning easier and more successful.

Jessica

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